My game shopping has curtailed this past year, partly because gaming time has been limited, partly because my budget has been limited. Thus, if I’m to get myself a belated Christmas / early birthday present (that still isn’t certain), I have to be selective. In particular, I’d like people to give feedback, especially people I’ve been gaming with, since I’d rather not buy something that ends up getting no table time. In some particular order:
- A Dominion expansion, likely Dominion: Prosperity or Dominion: Intrigue. Pros – Dominion has been a pretty reliable game: easy to teach, holds up under repeated play. Adding Seaside at least doubled the fun factor of the base set, so adding another expansion probably will do the same. Cons – Dominion, um, dominance of game nights will probably continue or increase.
- Race for the Galaxy plus any expansions I feel like. Pros – It’s like San Juan, but with more variety, which is important since I think San Juan has a dominant strategy, and that makes it boring. Cons – I already have San Juan and it’s big brother, Puerto Rico.
- Battlestar Galactica. Pros – Really, this is the game I should have bought instead of Shadows Over Camelot for that cooperative game (think Pandemic) but with a traitor (think Pandemic but someone is secretly sabotaging the team) niche. The game has held up much better than SoC. It plays like the first season of the show (you know, the good season): the last humans just getting by while paranoia spreads about cylons in their midst. Cons – Unless the Cylons win early, the game will take 3 hours. This is not something that will spontaneously be brought out at game nights; we’ll have to organize nights to play it.
- 7 Wonders. Pros – It’s something different: over the usual building a resource economy engine type of game we’re used to, layered on top is a drafting mechanic to choose what cards go in your civ (and not in your neighbors). Also, it fill an important gap of allowing up to 7 players while still playing in about 30 minutes. How many times have we had 5-6 players and spent another 15 minutes trying to split people into 2 games… Cons – It came out pretty recently, so it may have some new game hype surrounding it, and availability is limited.
- Yomi. Pros – It’s a fighting game (like Street Fighter) but in card form. Games are short, about 20 minutes. The heart of the game is reading the position and your opponent and your opponent’s hand and picking the right card (think rock paper scissors, but each player has 13 unique cards, not all available at once). The designer is a former fighting game tournament champion, so he knows the genre, and extensive playtesting has made sure that none of the various pairings are significantly imbalanced. Cons – It’s only 2-player. Also, since the designer is running his own independent game company, it’s more expensive than mainstream games, and I may not be able to afford many characters.
- Edit: StarCraft II. Knew I forgot something.